11/21/2001 12:00AM

Five Champions berths on line


The five remaining spots in the Grade 1, $500,000 Champion of Champions will be determined in the two Grade 3, $20,000 Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trials held over 400 yards at Los Alamitos on Friday night.

The horses with the five fastest times in the Directors Trials will be eligible to run in the Champion of Champions on Dec. 16, closing night of the 2001 Los Alamitos season.

Five horses have qualified for the Champion of Champions by virtue of wins in selected Grade 1 stakes: A Ransom, Hawkinson, Tailor Fit, Corona Kool, and Marmet.

Entered in the Directors Trials are Grade 1 All American Derby winner Stoli, two-time 2001 stakes winner Meddlin in Money, and the hot mare Flare for Toby.

Stoli, owned by R.D. Hubbard, started his career in 2000 with an early-season win in the Grade 1 West Texas Futurity. Now he is wrapping up his racing career in top form before entering stud next spring.

Stoli, the sixth-ranked horse in this week's American Quarter Horse Association poll, won the All American Derby on Labor Day at Ruidoso Downs. He then made a strong Los Alamitos debut when he was third in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Championship behind older horses Corona Kool and A Ransom, the sport's top two ranked horses.

Trainer Paul Jones found an easier spot for Stoli in the PCQHRA Stakes and the colt rolled to a length victory on Oct. 20, his most recent start.

Meddlin in Money, owned by the Double Bar S Ranch, has been a warrior for trainer Blane Schvaneveldt, with three graded stakes wins this year - the Kaweah Bar Handicap, the Millennium Handicap, and the MBNA America California Challenge Championship.

The 7-year-old Flare for Toby, owned by Dr. Ed Allred, has found youthful legs, with three straight wins since returning from a layoff in August. She won an allowance race and then took a pair of important stakes for females - the Grade 1 Mildred Vessels Handicap and the Grade 2 Las Damas Handicap.

Gone Kool Man vs. Blushin Bugs in Refrigerator

Gone Kool Man, owned by Ramiro Lopez, comes off a second-place finish in the Grade 1, $330,000 MBNA America Challenge Championship at Los Alamitos on Oct. 20 to head the Grade 2, $75,000 Refrigerator Handicap at Lone Star Park on Saturday night.

Gone Kool Man, a 4-year-old brother to champion Kool Kue Baby, has been a stakes winner in each of his three years of competition. At 2, he won the Grade 2 Longhorn Futurity and last year he won the Grade 1 Remington Park Derby. He started his 2001 campaign with a win in the Grade 2 Eastex Handicap at Remington Park, his sole win from six 2001 starts.

Gone Kool Man will share 125-pound highweight honors with the 7-year-old Blushin Bugs, winner of 10 career stakes races from 49 starts. He is coming off stakes wins at Lone Star Park in the Grade 3 Burnett Handicap and the Grade 3 6666 Ranch Handicap.